Metal Slug Ė Super Vehicle Ė 001

-Nazca (1996)

 

Summary

A couple of bad ass military guys lay the spank down on the evil Nazi-like empire that rules the Earth.

My Thoughts

This game is awesome. I thought so the day I put my first quarter in a Neo Geo machine years ago. Since I was in the mood for some great arcade game action I decided to give Metal Slug a spin once again.

You get hot killing all day.

When I first started playing again, I noticed something odd. Every bad guy was exploding with sweat when they died. I wondered why this might be, maybe the soldiers were low on anti-perspirant in their war-torn world. I could see that as a big problem when all of your resources are going towards the military machine, but I soon realized that the real reason was much simpler and that I needed to turn the blood option on. After a few seconds all was right again and I could dive into the glory of killing for fun.

You can play as one of two soldiers, or both the soldiers together in a two player super fun time extravaganza.  The soldiers arenít that different, except that one is blond and the other has a cool eye patch. You also donít get to pick between the two since one guy is on the first player side and the other is on the second player side. This isnít that big of a deal since itís mostly an ascetic decision. Both soldiers employ a wide variety of weapons that can be grabbed such as rockets and flamethrowers. The power ups are plentiful and are needed since you start out every level with a crappy pea shooter.

In their quest to destroy the enemy, you can rescue POWs for power ups. If you beat the level without continuing you get a bunch of bonus points for each POW rescued. This didnít happen that much for me, since I died so many times in each level. When it did you get a great feeling of satisfaction for doing a job well done.

I don't really know why the whole title is Metal Slug Super Vehicle-001, exept that maybe it sounds sorta cool in that weird Japanese way, and that every once in awhile you get to drive a small tank looking thing. I like driving the tank, but it's not a major focus of the game and it seems like just another thing to do as opposed to it needing an inclusion in the title. Maybe the developers were going to make a vehicle game and then just changed their minds.

Oh let the fun begin...

One of the biggest reasons Metal Slug stands head and shoulders above many other action side scrolling adventures is the high amount of detail in the game. There are so many animations that you donít get sick of what the characters are doing, like when your character stands for a moment he will make a report on a radio, or other times he will drink from a canteen. In the cold environment water vapor comes out with each exhale. It doesnít end with the good guys either, the baddies also get a wide of variety of actions. There are several types of animations for their deaths and they differ depending on what weapon you use. If you use the pistol theyíll jerk back with blood spewing from their wounds, if you use the flame thrower they go up like a roman candles.  The environments are also slightly interactive. Bricks fly off of buildings when shot, flags are torn, stuff falls over. Itís all so incredibly detailed.

Thereís also a lot of level variety, which is a big bonus. Thereís snow, European villages, jungle, and ocean areas. While itís great to see such a large variety, most of the colors in the game are earth tones to keep up with the battle ravaged theme. Thereís nothing really wrong with this, but a lot of the levels end up looking similar.

One of the things I liked is that while there are a lot of elements that repeat, there are also a lot of little surprises that want to make you keep playing, like when I blew up some cannon fodder soldiers and one of them flew at me.  Small touches like that keep you surprised and entertained and encourage you to see the game through until the end.

Metal Slug is also fairly long. It will take you a little while to defeat it, and I admire anyone who could do this in the arcade. I was hitting the quarter button so many times at the end I donít know how many dollars it would have cost me to beat the game.

Overall, Metal Slug is one great game.

Score: 9.0

-Paul

 

 

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